By

The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Modern Baseball, Kate Faust, World Cafe studio tracks

Modern Baseball | Photo by Allison Newbold | allynewbold.com
Modern Baseball | Photo by Allison Newbold | allynewbold.com

This week on Unlocked, The Key got the scoop on Modern Baseball‘s new LP You’re Gonna Miss It All.  Check out Mark Snitzer’s review here, watch the local pop / punk band perform deep cut “It’s Cold Out Here” and then hang out with the boys in an in-depth profile while listening to “Broken Cash Machine,” which you can download for free below.

World Cafe and host David Dye are making February a little more exciting by releasing twenty free downloads, availble only until the 28th.  This week, get ten tracks from Dr. Dog, Little Comets, Pet Shop Boys, Jason Isbell, Neko Case and more, recorded exclusively for the World Cafe.

Continue reading →

By

Folkadelphia Session: Declan O’Rourke

Declan O’Rourke may not be the most familiar name here in the States but over the pond in his native land of Ireland, he certainly is well-known. His three albums, including last year’s Mag Pai Zai, all have charted, he receives extensive radio play, and he performs across the country. He is lauded not just as a musician, but as a seriously deft songwriter. And rightly so – the Dublin-based musician exists in that vaulted upper eschelon of musical wordsmiths, reserved for those few that have an expert grip on their craft, but also challenge themselves with each new release.

With Mag Pai Zai, O’Rourke displayed both expertise and development, putting together a collection of story songs that are dramatic, exciting, humorous, tongue-in-cheek, and always terribly clever. Perhaps he does not go in for the obvious hook, the poppy played-out chorus that a lesser songwriter would have lifted. Perhaps it is because of this that O’Rouke, outside of his country, is something of a songwriter’s songwriter, less known to the general public than his musical peers. However, it is because of this very fact that O’Rourke’s music will have staying power; this guy is going to be around for a while, and, I hope, with even greater acclaim and popularity. While O’Rourke may not go in for that obvious chord change or lyrical progression, his songs are far from dissonant or complex beyond enjoyment; he skirts the line between syrupy simplicity and over embellishment with ease, and the result are immensely enjoyable and re-listenable songs. Enjoy this selection of songs from Declan O’Rourke’s catalogue, tracked in Philadelphia before his show at the Tin Angel this past September.

By

Hard-hitting songs from Dawn Landes and an imaginative performance from Declan O’Rourke, tonight on Folkadelphia

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Declan O’Rourke records his Folkadelphia Session

When it is released next week, Dawn Landes‘ new album, Bluebird, will set the bar very high for all music that follows in 2014. I know it’s early on, but nothing has hit me quite as hard, nothing has warranted as many repeated listens as Bluebird. Landes has crafted a showpiece album of extreme beauty, tenderness, and warmth. It’s a record flush with feeling, spanning the spectrum of emotions. I find it hard to not click “track 1” when I reach the end and start the journey again. With Bluebird, I hope that Dawn Landes will be recognized as one of today’s great American voices.

Dawn Landes performs this Friday, February 14th at the Boot & Saddle in Philadelphia. More information can be found here. Listen and watch the video for “track 1” aka “Bluebird” below:
Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: MGMT at the Electric Factory, Alice Smith at World Cafe Live, XPN Welcomes Declan O’Rourke at Tellus360 and more

Photo by Danny Clinch
Photo by Danny Clinch

Alt-rock stars MGMT will play the Electric Factory tonight in support of their self-titled album, which was released in September. The band blasted onto the world’s radar a few years back with hit singles “Time to Pretend”, “Electric Feel”, and “Kids”. Since then, their sound has transformed and become more low-key but is still very MGMT. Watch them calmly convince you that “Your Life is A Lie” below and get tickets here.

Continue reading →